Since the start of last season things have gone from bad to worse for Sunderland. With the Black Cats sitting at the bottom of the Championship table in their first season since being relegated from the Premier League, many fans have resigned the Black Cats to relegation.
Even captain and former Manchester United defender John O'Shea has admitted Sunderland are in trouble if they don't learn from their mistakes and start shutting out opposition attacks, as reported by ChronicleLive.
Following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of high flyers Aston Villa on Tuesday night O'Shea said: “It’s a step back and that’s the hugely frustrating thing.
“You couldn’t say Aston Villa were incredibly better than us but we’re giving team too much of a helping hand, and that’s the truth of it.
“Until we get back to keeping clean sheets we’ve got no chance because we can’t expect to be scoring two, three, four goals in a game to get wins.
“It’s the basics, everyone together. Mistakes will happen but you need to do the basics well – stopping crosses, defending crosses, marking men in the box, getting decisions right, all those basics.
“If you do that you get clean sheets and you give yourself a chance to win games.”
Although those around them at the foot of the table also fell to defeat on Tuesday, the Irish defender has acknowledged the Black Cats cannot rely on the failings of others to be their salvation.
“You can’t keep hoping teams lose if you keep losing because the games are going to run out,” O'Shea explained.
“You have to somehow dig that result out, that three points, that clean sheet. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves some chance.”
“The responsibility has to fall on your shoulders.”
Sunderland's next game sees them take on 16th placed QPR on Saturday, with a win potentially moving them one point from safety as they clamour for Championship survival in the closing stages of the season.